Dark Knight Shape Added to Excalibur 1066 Line

General Cigar Co. subsidiary Villazon & Co. has rolled out a new entry in the bold-flavored Excalibur 1066 line, the 5 3/4 x 54 Dark Knight which features its own distinctive wrapper leaf. The new shape was launched in May and was initially made available in a handsome three-cigar wooden sampler box, which also contains two Excalibur 1066 Merlin cigars in a "get three cigars for the price of two" offer. Suggested retail price is $9.50 per sampler.

Following the sampler introduction, Villazon & Co. began shipping Dark Knight in a special 1066-style, ebony-finished wooden box emblazoned with the gold Excalibur 1066 logo, reflecting the brand's Hoyo de Monterrey lineage. Black Knight is offered at a suggested retail price of $5.10 per stick, or $102 for a 20-count box.

"Dark Knight brings an entirely new taste profile to the Excalibur 1066 line," says Whit Beebe, director of marketing for Excalibur. "Hand crafted in Honduras, the Cuban Havana Seed wrapper used in Dark Knight is darker, richer, and even more complex than the Cameroon wrapper used on the other 1066 frontmarks." The Excalibur 1066 line features a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and a blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Dominican filler tobaccos.

General Cigar Co., Inc., New York, N.Y., Tel: (800) 273-8044, Fax: (212) 889-0996, Web: www.cigarworld.com.

Triple Fermented Fire from Indian Tabac

Indian Tabac is now shipping Fire, its new line of very moderately priced, premium, handmade maduro cigars. Described as having a "Cubanesque" aroma and a "savory, complex, and sweet taste," these medium- to full-bodied cigars are made in Honduras from triple-fermented Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers leaves, a Connecticut broadleaf binder, and a triple fermented wrapper from Costa Rica. Five shapes are offered: Petite Corona (4 x 40), Lonsdale (6 1/2 x 44), Robusto (4 3/4 x 52), Toro (6 x 50), and Double Corona (7 x 49). Cigars are packed in 20-count, cabinet-style slide top boxes and are offered at suggested retail prices of $2.70 to $3.80 per stick, $54 to $76 per box.

Indian Tabac Cigar Co., Naples, Fla., Tel: (239) 593-1833, Fax: (239) 593- 1839.

Free Motorola Pager Offer from Kool

Brown & Williamson Tobacco's Kool cigarette brand has teamed with PageMaster Corporation to present an exclusive opportunity for Kool customers to obtain a free alphanumeric pager in a high-value special offer.

Consumers who purchase specially marked packs of Kool in May and June will receive coupons they can redeem for their choice of either a $150 Motorola Talkabout T-900 Two-Way or a $70 Motorola T-350 One-Way pager. Pager content channels include news, sports, weather, music, and entertainment information and updates. The two-way pager comes with an e-mail ID. To accept the free pager offer, consumers will need to enter one-year service contracts.

"Kool celebrates urban living," said Ludo Cremers, divisional vice president for Kool brand marketing. "The Motorola pager promotion fits into the lifestyle of Kool consumers who want to be connected."

The free Motorola pager offer is being supported by advertising in newspapers, national magazines, and alternative media. The program is also being communicated through direct mail, point-of-sale material in retail stores, pack onserts, and pack and carton overwraps.

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., Louisville, Ky., Toll-free: (800) 626-6550, Tel: (502) 568-7000, Web: www.brownandwilliamson.com.

Limited Edition Gift Boxes from Perdomo

Tabacalera Perdomo S.A. has issued limited quantities of special edition gift boxes in four of its leading cigar brands.

The Cuban Parejo gift box contains five shapes: Rothschild (4 3/4 x 60); Epicure (6 x 62); Perfecto Grande (5 3/4 x 56-62); Corona Gigante (7 1/2 x 56); and Belicoso Fino (6 1/2 x 60). Sets are available in a choice of Connecticut shade Natural, Nicaraguan Sun-Grown Rosado, or a dark and robust Nicaraguan Maduro wrappers. Suggested retail, $39.95.

The La Tradicion Perdomo Reserve collectibles - small gift box replicas of the standard boxes - contain five of the line's most popular sizes: No. 1 (4 1/2 x 54); No. 4 (5 1/2 x 55); No. 5 (6 3/4 x 54); R (5 x 50); and X (7 x 54), offered with either sun-grown Rosado wrapper from Milagro, Ecuador or triple-fermented Ecuadorian Maduro wrappers. Each box is personally numbered and autographed by Nick Perdomo, Jr. Suggested retail, $39.99.

Perdomo Estate Selecci-n, a deeply aged Nicaraguan puro made from Cuban-seed tobaccos grown in Esteli, Nicaragua, are presented in precision crafted, laser-sculpted gift boxes. Each contains six different cigars in either a Nicaraguan Natural or Maduro wrapper: the Imperio (5 1/2 x 48); Regente (5 x 54); Aristocrata (7 x 54); Prestigio (6 1/2 x 55); Monstro (6 1/2 x 54-60); and the new Royale (6 x 57). Suggested retail, $59.95.

Finally, Perdomo2 cigars have been released in specially-made autographed gift boxes bearing the distinctive angled box corners of the Perdomo2 line. Each contains five cigars: the Exponente (6 x 43); Rhombus (5 1/2 x 54); Descartes (7 x 50); Torfecto (5 1/2 x 54); and Milenario (5 1/2 x 55). A choice of deeply aged genuine African Cameroon wrapper or triple fermented Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper is offered. Suggested retail price is $39.99.

Tabacalera Perdomo, Miami Lakes, Fla., Toll-free: (888) 642-579, Tel: (305) 627-6700, Web: www.perdomocigars.net.

Freedom Tobacco Introduces Legal Cigarettes

Freedom Tobacco of New York City has introduced its first cigarette brand, Legal, manufactured in Colombia with premium Colombian tobacco. Legal (pronounced lhé-gal) is available in menthol and filters (non-menthol), and are positioned as a high-quality, "micro-brewed alternative for discriminating smokers." Legal cigarettes are made with fine Colombian tobaccos grown in the country's Santander region. "In Colombia, people have been enjoying a good smoke longer than anywhere else in the world," said Patrick Carroll, c.e.o. of Freedom Tobacco.

Made with a recessed filter that yields about 12 mg. of tar, Legal provides a premium, low-tar cigarette presented in a striking, king size hinge-lid box. According to the manufacturer, in blind taste tests, a majority of smokers preferred Legal versus Marlboro Light, Camel Light, and Parliament Lights.

"Freedom Tobacco wants American smokers to have freedom of choice in discovering the world's most flavorful and exotic tobacco," added Carroll. "We will be rolling out exciting new brands from South Africa, Indonesia, and other tobacco-rich countries in the world later this year."

Freedom Tobacco International, New York, N.Y., Tel: (212) 334-6480, Fax: (212) 334-6483.

Sherpa, New Value Priced Cigar from Gurkha

Beach Cigar Group, makers of Gurkha brand premium cigars, has introduced two new lines of handmade premium cigars. Named for the faithful Nepalese mountain guides of Everest fame, the new Sherpa from K. Hansotia & Company Ltd. is available in two blends and wrappers, with five cigar shapes in each.

Both the orange band Sherpa and the green band Sherpa Diablo are made by the same Honduran craftsmen as the company's extremely rare and costly Gurkha cigars. "Gurkha has set a level of consistent quality and performance with the His Majesty's Reserve, the world's most expensive production cigar," says company president Kaizad Hansotia. "Smokers of the value-priced Sherpas deserve the same value for their dollar as those who spend $250 for an HMR."

The Sherpa is medium-bodied, made with an Indonesian-grown Sumatran wrapper and Dominican filler and binder. The medium-full bodied Sherpa Diablo has a Brazilian wrapper, Dominican binder, and Nicaraguan filler. Both are offered in five shapes: Presidente (8 1/2 x 52), Churchill (7 x 50), Torpedo (6 1/2 x 52), Toro (6 x 50), and Robusto (4 1/2 x 50).

Packed in bundles of 25, Sherpa's suggested retail prices range from $39.95 (Robusto) to $55.95 (Torpedo), at keystone. Retailers may order Sherpa at wholesale from Cigars International (888-244-2780, www.cigarinternational.com), which purchased the entire initial production run of both cigars.

Beach Cigar Group, Miami, Fla., Tel: (305) 593-2254, Fax: (305) 593-2256, Web: www.gurkhacigars.com.

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